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More than 4 million Asians took a cruise last year – a 20% increase.

PHOTO: Travel Daily Media

More than 4 million Asians took to the seas in 2017, aboard an ocean liner. A record-breaking 4,060,000 Asians took an ocean cruise in 2017 according to Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) – a 20.5 per cent increase from the 3,370,000 Asian passengers who boarded a passenger ship in 2016.

At 20.5 per cent, the 2017 year-on-year growth is more than three times the global growth (6.3 per cent), way ahead of markets such as North America (5.0 per cent) and Australia (4.4 per cent), putting Asia on top of the world in terms of cruise growth.

Asia accounted for about 15 per cent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017.

The region also had seven countries making it to the top 20 countries by cruise passenger volume. Cruise passengers from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India all saw double-digit year-on-year growth. The fastest growing markets were Hong Kong and Malaysia which both recorded more than 80 per cent growth from 2016.

“Cruising continues to be on an impressive progressive trajectory in Asia, gaining consumer interest and having a positive impact on the economy. With a comparatively low population penetration rate and limited awareness of cruising in many Asian markets, the potential is tremendous.” Said Mr Joel Katz, Managing Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia.

“Since the start of the CLIA Asia office in 2017, we have made strong progress with introducing CLIA’s training and accreditation programme, educating travel agents on everything cruise and how they can benefit from the current demand. We look forward to working with the industry to support the continued development of cruise in Asia.”

Above figures were released as part of the 2017 official global cruise industry numbers reported by CLIA.

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